2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion Plaque
Bronze plaque dedicated to the 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion 'The City of Sudney Regiment', in recognition of their service in the Second World War. The plaque lists the Battle Honours of the unit and displays the unit colour patch in coloured enamel.
'WE HONOUR OUR FALLEN' - refer to main image.
- Conflicts commemorated
- Second World War, 1939–1945
- Unit memorials
- Memorial type
- Additional information
The 2/1st Battalion was raised at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, on 16 October 1939 as part of the 16th Brigade of the 6th Australian Division. It relocated to the newly-opened Ingleburn Camp on 2 November and, after conducting basic training there, embarked for overseas service on 10 January 1940.
The 2/1st Battalion's first campaign of the Second World War was the advance from Egypt into eastern Libya in January and February 1941. The battalion was involved in the attacks to capture Bardia (3-5 January) and Tobruk (21-22 January), and was left to garrison Tobruk as the advance continued. It left Tobruk on 7 March, ultimately bound for Greece with the rest of the 6th Division.
The battalion was evacuated by sea from the Greek mainland on 25 April and landed on Crete the next day, being subsequently deployed with the 2/11th Battalion to defend the critical airfield at Retimo. German victories elsewhere on Crete, however, allowed them to concentrate overwhelming force against Retimo and, short of rations and ammunition, many of the 2/1st surrendered and became prisoners of war. The rebuilt 2/1st unit finally disembarked in Australia, at Melbourne, on 7 August 1942; less than 100 of the men who had originally sailed with it in January 1940 remained with the battalion.
In the South-West Pacific theatre the 2/1st Battalion fought in two campaigns - the advance along the Kokoda Trail to the Japanese beachheads between September 1942 and January 1943, and the drive to clear the Japanese from the Aitape-Wewak region of New Guinea between December 1944 and August 1945. The period in between was occupied with training in northern Queensland. The Kokoda Trail fighting, involving major battles at Eora Creek (20-29 October), Gorari (9-12 November 1942) and Sanananda (20-21 November) was particularly costly, with over two-thirds of the battalion killed, wounded, or evacuated sick. The 2/1st Battalion disbanded in December 1945.
(Source: Australian War Memorial www.awm.gov.au)
- Recorded by
- QLD War Memorial Register
- Date recorded
- 9 April 2009
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